Time to whip out that NCAA tournament office pool sheet and allow Brownie Points to augment that emergency stash the wife knows nothing about. This year's rock-solid, airtight, hermetically-sealed Final Four locks are:
• Midwest: Kentucky. Yeah, I know, your dog could have told you that (kind of why the Wildcats are seeded No. 1) but don't be taken in by those touting Pitt or Marquette or sleepers like Wisconsin and Indiana. First-round upset: Tulsa over Dayton.
• South: Connecticut. First of all, the whole country needs UConn to beat BYU to take care of this whole “Never on Sunday'' mess. But Texas and Florida are beatable. Upset: Troy State over Xavier.
• East: Syracuse. Going with the Orange here because I have little faith in Oklahoma and Wake Forest and because sports editor Slim Smith is a graduate of fifth-seeded Mississippi State and the constant newsroom pimping has turned us all against the Bulldogs. Upset: Penn over Oklahoma State.
• West: Illinois. Arizona? Something tells me to stay away. Kansas? No faith in Roy Williams or his bench. Duke? Maybe next year. I'll take the Illini, who will be the story of the tournament when they beat the Wildcats and Jayhawks within 48 hours to reach New Orleans. Upset: Wisconsin-Milwaukee over Notre Dame.
Who will win it all? Sorry. What if I wind up in the same pool as you? Gotta keep some secrets.
TAKE A WALK, PERVIS
Chris Webber. Leon Lett. Dwayne Rudd. And now, add Kansas State basketball player Pervis “Never Nervous, But Diabolically Stupid'' Pasco to the list of athletes who found inventively insipid ways to snatch defeat from the gaping jaws of victory.
The Wildcats were up, 76-74, with 3.3 seconds left in Thursday's Big 12 tournament game with Colorado, when Pasco intercepted a long, desperation pass from the Buffaloes and raised an arm in celebration — as he tucked the ball under his arm and started to walk off the court.
There was still two seconds left to play, Pasco was called for traveling, and Colorado's James Wright banked in a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat KSU 77-76.
Hey, you don't get to be the 11th-seeded team in the Big 12 on accident.
As if Cleveland wasn't embarrassed enough being the worst team in the NBA, Ricky Davis dragged his team to a lower level Sunday night. With the Cavs leading Utah by 25 points and needing one more rebound for his first career triple-double, Davis ran toward his own basket in the final seconds so he could miss a shot and collect the board.
DeShawn Stevenson of the Jazz fouled Davis before he could make good on his scheme, but Utah coach Jerry Sloan said he wouldn't have stopped there.
‘‘He was trying to embarrass us, and that’s not how the game should be played,’’ Sloan said. “I would have knocked him down harder. They can put me in jail for saying that, but that’s the way it is.’’
Some people are stuck on bad teams. Others are where they belong.
• That black cloud that has followed the Arizona Cardinals forever has now settled over the new stadium site, forcing a postponement of today's scheduled ground/mud-breaking in Glendale.
Come on. Isn't this the NFL? Isn't the NFL all about braving the elements, getting dirty? This isn't the third round of the Kemper Open.
• Here's a stunner: UCLA fired basketball coach Steve Lavin Monday.
‘‘Decisions like this are always tough,’’ Bruins athletic director Dan Guerrero said. Tough? The guy fired himself weeks ago — then offered a list of people he felt would be good successors. Firings don't get any easier than this.
• During Sunday's Diamondbacks-Royals game in Hermosillo, Mexico, Arizona third-base coach Eddie Rodriguez was flagged down during the game by a lady in the stands. It was the mother of former Diamondbacks slugger Erubiel Durazo — a native of Hermosillo. “She said, ‘I want to thank you for the way everyone (with Arizona) treated Erubiel,’ ” Rodriguez said. “It was really nice of her to stop by and say that.''